Embracing True Community at the Yoga Seed Collective
One Yoga Studio's Mission to Serve Their Community
Celebrating International Yoga Day on June 21st takes on a new shape this year as many of us unroll our mats in our homes instead of in our favorite yoga studios. This has required a greater level of flexibility from us—and a much deeper kind of adaptability from yoga studios.
In honor of this day, we want to acknowledge the amazing work that one yoga studio, the Yoga Seed Collective, has done in its community in Sacramento, California—and still continues to do, even in the face of the pandemic.
Celebrating Their Roots
Founded in 2010, the Yoga Seed Collective is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to making yoga and Ayurveda available to the communities that may otherwise not have access to these modalities and to share the benefits with all people—all shapes, sizes, races, ability levels, and income levels.
This mission began with the creation of a studio space that offers inclusive yoga classes, such as Yoga for People of Color, Queer Community Yoga, Chair Yoga, and All Bodies Yoga. All Yoga Seed classes are offered with sliding scale membership—even at no cost if needed—as just over half of their students live at or below the poverty level. In this way, the Yoga Seed team is committed to serving and empowering a variety of vulnerable and underserved populations in an atmosphere that is inviting, respectful, and safe.
Over time, what started as an accessibility-focused studio began to expand its offerings into the greater Sacramento community through outreach into a multitude of settings, with the intention of increasing well-being and restoring personal agency through the healing benefits of mindfulness and yoga.
As a part of their community offerings, they provide trauma-informed programming in schools, psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, recovery shelters, transitional housing centers, and youth detention facilities for exploited and at-risk teens. They recognize their students aren’t just those who have come into the studio, but also include those who are also in mental health facilities, prisons, youth detentions, and in women’s shelters.
These programs have been developed and refined by a team of experts in the field of trauma and are specifically geared towards the unique needs of each unique population.
Reuniting the Sister Sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda
After ten years of establishing a strong foundation through yoga and mindfulness, the Yoga Seed has begun integrating more Ayurveda into their offerings. As one of our 2019 Community Grant Recipients, they are using their grant to offer community workshops on topics such as Ayurveda for People of Color, Ayurveda for the Queer Community, Ayurveda for Women’s Reproductive Health, and Ayurveda for Loving Yourself (aimed to support those with eating disorders and body dysmorphia).
The collective will also begin to bring Ayurveda to the homeless community of Sacramento by creating a regular outreach event, offering hot kitchari, tea, and herbal remedies to those in need. Through this effort, the wisdom and tools of Ayurveda will be made available to a population that would otherwise not be able to access it.
By incorporating Ayurvedic education and service into the work they are already doing, the Yoga Seed will be able to provide an even more holistic system of support to the underserved communities of Sacramento. And of equal importance to the offerings themselves is the intention and vision behind them—one of connection, respect, empowerment, and heartfelt generosity.
Continuing During the Pandemic
It has been months now since in-person classes have been held at the Yoga Seed’s studio. Like many yoga studios around the world, they shuttered their doors in response to the pandemic. But they quickly pivoted to online connection and continue to offer virtual classes almost daily.